Facebook explores new ways to let kids use site

FILE- In this Friday, May 18, 2012, file photo, a child looks at a laptop displaying Facebook logos in Hyderabad, India. Facebook said Monday, June 4, 2012, it is testing out ways to allow younger kids on its site without needing to lie. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File)

WASHINGTON – Facebook is looking into technology that would allow preteens to use the site with parental supervision.

Currently, children under 13 are banned from the social networking site. But Consumer Reports says last year an estimated 7.5 million underage kids lied about their age to get accounts. Of them, an estimated 5 million were under age 10.

More than 900 people use Facebook worldwide.

Already under scrutiny for privacy and cyberbullying concerns, Facebook is looking to develop technology that would allow young people to use the site with their parents permission. The technology would link children’s accounts to that of their parents, who could control who their children “friend” and what applications they use, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policy makers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment,” says a Facebook official in the Wall Street Journal.

There is no word on when or if the new technology will be made available. The Journal says Facebook has a history of creating new technology that never makes it on the market.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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